Many people with disabilities enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with being able to drive. But for anyone with a disability, driving can often feel like something of a chore – particularly over longer distances. Whether they feel discomfort using traditional controls or have trouble finding the correct alignment with the seating, there are many obstacles to driving that people with disabilities may need to overcome.
Fortunately, more information and technology are available now than ever before, to help lower these barriers and make driving more accessible to everyone. In addition to changing the actual driving experience, individuals can also apply for government grants and parking concessions to make the process of owning a car easier all around for those driving with a disability.
Here, we discuss some of the ways your clients can be more comfortable getting behind the wheel, to help provide that freedom and independence we all strive for.
Whichever model you drive, there are so many ways you can modify modern vehicles to help make the driving experience easier and more comfortable. For drivers with mobility issues in their legs, hand controls can be installed, meaning they won’t have to use their feet to brake or accelerate. And there are companies that specialize in all sorts of car and van modifications for those driving with a disability.
However, modifying a vehicle to meet the needs of a disabled driver can be both expensive and time-consuming. Luckily, there are a few ways to make the process easier. As mentioned earlier, there may be grants available to help pay for modifications, as well as different financing options. Another way to save money is to purchase a used vehicle that has already been modified for disability access. This can be an especially good option for those who need specialized equipment such as hand controls.
It’s important to remember that many modifications can be do-it-yourself projects, which could be another way to save money. With careful planning and a little effort, modifying a car for disabled drivers can be a relatively simple and affordable process.
The benefits of driving an electric vehicle (EV) go far beyond making a positive impact on the environment – especially for disabled drivers. First and foremost, most EVs are automatic, which will instantly provide better support for people with joint pain or mobility issues who find it difficult to use a traditional gearstick and handbrake. When you combine this with the all-around smoother driving experience an EV can offer, they quickly stack up as a viable alternative to traditional gasoline-powered vehicles for drivers with a disability.
What’s more, the convenience of home charging means they’ll never have to contend with busy, potentially challenging fuel stations to top up their car. Instead, they can “fill up” from the comfort of their home.
Rent Accessible Vehicles
When traveling or if your usual vehicle is being repaired, it’s possible to rent vehicles that are wheelchair accessible and that have other modifications for people driving with a disability. This can be very helpful in allowing clients to maintain their independence when the vehicle they’re used to driving is unavailable.
While it may take some getting used to, modern technology allows for many disabled drivers to share the roads in a more comfortable space. If your clients are looking for more information or advice before taking to the roads again, there are so many resources available online. Or, they can get in contact with one of the many charities who will be able to offer more support and guidance to help them feel safer and more comfortable getting behind the wheel.